Sunday, January 15, 2006

presbyopia

Presbyopia is the gradual loss of the ability of the lens of the eye to focus from distance to near. This accommodation loss occurs in everyone and is related entirely to age. As a result most people read without difficulty until the age of 40. The focusing ability continues to decrease until approximately age 65 to 70, at which time it is stabilized and subsequently changes very little.
The chief symptom of presbyopia is an inability to see near work. The person must hold objects farther and farther away to see them clearly, thus, the frequent complaint is "my arms are too short." Other symptoms include headaches and ocular discomfort. Treatment for presbyopia involves reading glasses for those people without any other refractive error or a bifocal added to the distant correction for people with distant refractive errors. One relatively new innovation is bifocals without lines. Many older people prefer this alternative as they feel bifocals with a line are reflective of their age.
See also ASTIGMATISM; HYPEROPIA; MYOPIA. Newell, F. W. Ophthalmology Principles and Concepts, 6th ed. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1986.
Slatt, B. J., and Stein, H. A. The Ophthalmic Assistant Fundamentals and Clinical Practice, 4th ed. St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Co., 1983.

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